Gluten Free Sour Cream Breakfast Muffins

by Jen on January 18, 2014

*This GF Sour Cream Breakfast Muffin recipe is gluten-free, Paleo- and SCD-friendly*

Lately, I have been sleeping a little easier at night. For two reasons: 1) my youngest has decided to let me, and 2) I have an awesome new government job.

It seems like eons ago when I left my job in the public health sector. I’m not going to bore you with the different iterations of the rigmarole that was my job search during the last few months, but here’s what I can say: I am so happy and grateful for all the opportunities I have today!

And those few pounds I’ve been obsessing to lose? Lost them by cutting out wheat in my life and spending a little more time in the gym! No bread, no pasta, no worries!

But me, go wheat-free forever? It’s like asking me to wear wool in the summer (even in the winter)…Torture! So instead of getting stuck in a dietary quagmire, I allow myself to enjoy wheat products several times a month. However, the family can do so whenever they want.

But not today.

These muffins, as the name states, are gluten-free. They’re also refined sugar-free by the use of raw honey. This is the type of recipe, though, that does not take away too much from the familiarity and comfort of a regular muffin to require proof of concept. Nobody will suspect anything! Sure, it’s considerably less sweet and it tastes more like a soft, pillowy bread, but I am sure you can convince your picky “customers” (i.e. kids and spouses) to enjoy them for what they are!

Soft, airy, sour dough-y morning treats, these wholesome muffins can be packed in a lunch box or eaten on-the-go. They’re great straight out of the oven and can hold well to reheating. My only complaint is, we’re always fighting for the last piece.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Gluten Free Sour Cream Breakfast Muffins
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 to 12 muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 50 grams brown rice flour
  • 50 grams yam flour
  • 40 grams tapioca flour
  • 10 grams garbanzo flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon xanthan or guar gum
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons raw honey
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Grease a regular 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper, ungreased.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C).
  3. In a medium bowl, mix all the flours together with the baking powder, baking soda, and xanthan or guar gum.
  4. In another bowl, beat the egg. Add honey, sour cream, butter, salt, and the flour mixture, and mix until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin cup at ⅔ full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  6. Serve with whipped butter or sprinkle with icing sugar.

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{ 17 comments }

Roasted Bone Marrow Salad

by Jen on September 13, 2013

*This recipe is gluten-free, Paleo and SCD-friendly*

Have you heard of bulalo? Bulalo is a dish of beef shank and marrow soup from the southern Luzon province of the Philippines. As the fat and collagen from the bones melt into the water they are boiled in, this produces an unctuous and flavourful broth that immediately awakens the “umami” sense.

Although I am not posting about bone marrow soup today, by introducing you to bulalo, I am hoping to give marrow a grand entrance and, perhaps, qualify how good they taste! Yes, bone marrow is fatty and certainly not good for your cholesterol – according to your conventional family doctor, if that’s who you listen to. At this point, you are probably thinking, “oh no, that marrow is now coagulating and hardening inside my arteries! Quick, get me a Statin, stat!” Has anybody heard of the French Paradox? That might be a good thing to look up now.

But don’t panic. In my humble opinion, there is nothing wrong with eating fat, as long as it’s the good kind of fat (from nature, not manufactured in a laboratory) and it’s enjoyed in moderation. However, I am not a medical professional qualified to give advice, so what do I know? Here’s the caveat then: proceed with this Roasted Bone Marrow Salad at your own risk! Don’t say I didn’t warn you of its awesomeness!

This Roasted Bone Marrow Salad, which makes use of the same crosswise cut of beef bones as the aforementioned bulalo, is one heck of a dish. Not convinced? Just ask David Leite of Leite’s Culinaria. He has loads of information on bone marrow on his site that I won’t bother rehashing here. You can just head over there and read all the juicy details!

Meanwhile, part of my “job” is to convince you to try this recipe. See those chunks of collagenous stuff that look like teeny little baby brains in the photo above? Yes, those are the ones we’re talking about. Let me tell you how I reacted to my first hot, slick, and fluffy spoonful of marrow. It was an explosion in my mouth – a sudden high that blasted through – and all I could mutter was a “hellz, yeah!” It was like a hit of blue ice with 97% purity – not that I would know; I am a “Breaking Bad” fan, you see!

5.0 from 9 reviews
Roasted Bone Marrow Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • 4 to 6 beef bone marrow pieces, cut cross-section, about 4" tall each (allow at least 1 piece per person)
  • 6 teaspoons kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • ½ red onion, finely minced
  • salad greens of your choice (I used micro greens: arugula, broccoli, and cress)
  • 1 pint golden berries (also known as Cape gooseberries), halved
  • a handful of honey- or apple juice-sweetened dried black currants
Instructions
  1. To clean the bones, soak them in a large pot with enough cold water to submerge the 4 to 6 bones. Season the water with 6 teaspoons of salt. Refrigerate up from 3 hours up to 24 hours, changing the water when it becomes cloudy or every 3 to 4 hours.
  2. When ready to roast, drain the bones and dry then with paper towels.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C).
  4. Set the bone standing up on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and some minced garlic.
  5. Roast bone for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the marrow softens, bubbles, and melts. You can also test the marrow with a cake tester inserted into the middle. When it comes out hot to touch, the marrow inside is cooked.
  6. While the marrow cooks, prepare the salad by chopping the ingredients.
  7. When the marrow is done, serve immediately with a marrow spoon or any long, skinny spoon that can fit inside the bone.
  8. To eat, scoop some liquid fat and marrow out, then toss with salad. The marrow's fat becomes the dressing.

 

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{ 27 comments }

Chicken Kebabs, Middle Eastern-Style

by Jen on August 29, 2013

*This recipe is Paleo-friendly and gluten-free*

It’s been almost two months since I last posted, and there have been many things percolating from my end lately. I do have an explanation for my absence; but first, I wanted to thank everyone who stuck around while I was M.I.A in blogosphere. I appreciate it!

So…I left my job. A stable, comfortable job in the public health sector, with great medical and dental benefits and 5 weeks vacation, on-track to 6. There. That was pretty painless to say. Am I insane, you ask? Probably so! You know that crossroad poem? Yup, I was there when the road diverged in the wood, and I took a risk by choosing to walk away from my job. Darn you, Robert Frost.

You got to understand that I wasn’t happy with my career any longer. I have been suffering silently in that office for quite some time now. A few years ago, I found myself sitting in the stairwell crying. It hasn’t been good for me since.

Anyway, the joblessness unfolded at the start of summer, so I thought that I would use the remaining time to focus on taking care of my 3 kids, running long-overdue errands, updating my resume and searching for a new job / career path. I thought that I could use some time to decompress and also do some soul-searching (what do I really want to do in life at 40?).

And so the days turned into weeks and weeks into months. Before I could even take a breath and put my feet up, summer is already waving bye-bye! You wouldn’t believe how much stuff you can fill your days with when you are not at work! Blogging didn’t even play a significant role in all this, as you can see!

Not cooking and blogging seemed counterintuitive at a time when it matters most, since I find so much joy in doing both in times of stress. But I don’t know, I guess I was grieving my job loss more than I thought I would. Also, I have been doing a lot of professional and personal development, since the truth of the matter is, I’ve not been to a job interview in 10 years!

I wish I had a Xanax pill to make everything alright…oops, I retract that sentence! Come to think of it, food always makes me feel alright- not in an emotional eating sort of way, but in a creative and cathartic sort of way. (Xanax not needed at this point!)

Today’s recipe is a staple at home. Not only is it easy to make, it is also oh-so delicious. It’s a recipe that makes use of ground chicken to its fullest potential! All the beautiful spices that blend in with the meat…It’s filled with the heady tones of cardamom, cloves, cumin, and coriander; the sweet fragrance of cinnamon, fennel, nutmeg, and allspice; the spicy notes of turmeric, paprika, and pepper; the sunny fresh flavours of lemon and sumac. No wonder this is a mainstay family recipe!


5.0 from 4 reviews
Chicken Kebabs, Middle Eastern-Style
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
Ingredients
  • ~~ For the spice mix ~~
  • 1 teaspoon ground sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¾ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground fennel
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground sumac
  • ~~ For the kebabs ~~
  • 2 pounds (900 grams) organic ground chicken, preferably a mix of white and dark meat
  • 1 small onion, finely minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • a handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1-1/2s teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 to 5 teaspoons of kebab spice mix [above recipe totals 5 teaspoons]
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ground spices.
  2. Soak wooden skewers in water to prevent them from breaking too easily when exposed to fire.
  3. In a large bowl, mix ground chicken, onion, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and kebab spices using your hands.
  4. Cover the bowl with foil or plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour to overnight. Refrigerating the meat mixture will make it easier to shape onto a skewer without falling apart.
  5. Shape into a balls and slide just enough mixture to fill a wooden skewer. Flatten the meat mixture and form into one long piece. Repeat until all the mixture is done.
  6. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes to let the kebabs set.
  7. Prepare the grill by oiling and set on high heat. Grill the kebabs until cooked throughout, about 7 to 8 minutes per side.

 

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{ 27 comments }

Ravioli in Spiced Butter Sauce

July 12, 2013
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Dare I admit to it? Yes, I buy packaged ravioli…and I like it! There, I’ve said it. You can judge me now. That’s just the kind of person I am; the type who thinks shortcuts are OK at home. True, I am flawed in my ways, but I am not ashamed. Let me explain more […]

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Honey Lime Tequila Shrimp Tacos with Avocado, Purple Slaw and Chipotle Crema

July 5, 2013
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I know a few people who become intimidated at the thought of making homemade tacos because of the many layers and components involved in the process. But the truth of the matter is, it is their many layers and components that make tacos really easy to prepare at home. It is a matter of organizing […]

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Asian-Style Shiitake Mushrooms and Baby Bok Choy

June 27, 2013
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*This recipe is vegan and Paleo-friendly* It’s been such a sad time for me lately. Last week, I heard of a former school mate who passed away suddenly because of a heart attack. Heart attack at the age of 40!!! His third child was only one-week old when it happened. Then, I also received news […]

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Almond Butter Cookies with Fleur de Sel

June 10, 2013
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*These Almond Butter Cookies are vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and protein-packed.* You didn’t think I’d go a while without posting something sweet, did you? Of course not. You know me; I can’t help having a treat here and there. “In moderation” is always my philosophy…and nowadays, I try to make my treats a little healthier […]

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Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls

June 2, 2013
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*This Fresh Veggie Summer Rolls recipe is vegan if you omit the mayo in the dipping sauce* In the past, whenever I go to Asian restaurants, I couldn’t resist a plate of deep fried spring rolls, deep fried wontons, deep fried chicken, deep fried tofu, and even deep fried bananas. See a pattern here? What’s […]

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Red Cabbage and Mango Slaw

May 26, 2013
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*This recipe is vegan, Paleo-friendly, and a superfood* My renewed interest in nutrition and/or holistic nutrition has inspired me to put together this delicious slaw. Psst, this salad is a superfood, can you believe it? Want to know why? Read on… First, I am going to break down each of the main ingredient. Will the […]

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Poached Salmon

May 19, 2013
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I promised some sakura photos in my last post…well, here they are. Spring sprung late here in Toronto, so our cherry blossoms (sakura) didn’t pop out until early May. There are always mad throngs during sakura hamami (cherry blossom viewing) at High Park, but we are fortunate enough to live so close by and to […]

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